The album Soliloquy by composer Kevin Ure was written as a set of “meditation” pieces that are designed to put the listener into a suggestive but contemplative state of mind. The music isn’t cheerful or happy but rather overcast and melancholy. Each of the works in the collection is designed to evoke a sort of “down the hall” feeling as if you’re listening to the music from another room. This technique offers a form of isolation and loneliness that can’t be captured with up-close and personal recording techniques.
The music in this release is best listened to on a drizzly, rainy day or late into a quiet night. The supple melodic lines and effervescent harmonies bubble just below the surface and pull you along to the finish. Through repeated listenings, you’ll begin to enjoy a deeper and more insightful musical experience. These compositions are designed to take you out of yourself and guide you through a journey deep into your psyche. They often require several listenings to appreciate, but those who put in the effort are rewarded with music that evolves, changes, and brings on new dimensions with each listening.
Soliloquy begins with “La Llorona.” At first, just a glimmer of insanity and melancholy overtakes La Llorona. This is quickly followed by a drowning and ends with an entrance to a new world. The initial composition is based on the legend of La Llorona. She’s known in many ways throughout the world, but the most popular version is one where she’s betrayed by her lover and out of anger and a moment of madness drowns her children. This is how the album begins, and it brings us deeper into the depths of despair as it continues. As you listen, hear the waves rushing over her children as the piece picks up its pace and culminates in a final, panicked and mournful lyrical work as La Llorona wakes and realizes what she’s done.
“Chilled” continues the saga with a piece that is plastered in cold hard metal. The flute, operating on its own is now reflecting on the things that we feel but can’t express because they are beyond our ability to articulate. These are the unexpressed mysterious things that keep us up late at night, and make us feel anxious during the days. It’s usually short-lived, as we push these thoughts beneath the surface and “burn” such depressing thoughts into the depths of our minds.
“Burned” follows with whimsical, but always macabre, melodic play. It’s an impression of the ascent from these deeper thoughts. Lighter in nature, the piece seems to be made of sticks and wooden things that are found in the forests of the world. It’s a clean piece that is designed to bring us up before sleep takes us down again.
“Queen Mab” enters. She invades our dreams and directs our thoughts to the trickster inside us all. As she boards her chariot and swoops into the night, our dreams are overrun by the things that gnaw at our subconscious. The time for dreams is the time for rest, but with “Queen Mab,” there is little respite from the darkness. We’re left only with a soliloquy.
We wake in the night, and are completely alone to give our midnight “Soliloquy.” The night air is still, and we’re relieved in the knowledge it was all just a dream. As we continue, we begin to realize that the dream never really ended. We’re now lost in the forest, but the forest is not dangerous. We relax and gain our bearings as we look at the various trees and think about how each tree has its own distinct place in the world — perhaps a metaphor for our own lives.
“406” is the return home. This clown-like, cyclical collection of works twirls around a central idea like the wheel of a unicycle the clown uses to amuse and entertain. But, behind the painted faces, we feel as if there is something darker and not quite human. We’re left without our bearings, and we begin to realize this album was the just the beginning of an epic cycle that takes us through life, follows us, and doesn’t let us go until the very end.
It’s at this moment we see “The Key.” It creates the sounds we hear at night when the insects begin making their music, the crickets outside, and the wind in the trees and everything else that lets us know the night is upon us.
“The Key” was created using the sound of a single key scratching against various objects, and it provides a clue to the continuation of the album and what to expect in the future. As we walk through the narrow corridor that the key grants us access to, the air become increasing tight, constricted, and stifled. Relief never comes, as we attempt to walk through the dark corridors.